When I think of the people I admire most in business, I am especially impressed by their ability to handle even the most controversial conflicts with grace. I often wonder what conflict they might have encountered on their road to greatness that prepared them for this so I too can possess this rare superpower. How does Bey remain tight-lipped and full of poise while the world scrutinized what appeared to be the family feud of the decade in that elevator? How did Oprah remain level-headed and persevere after having her television network struggle very publicly after 25 years of being number 1? How did Rihanna go on to make Good Girl Gone Bad her best-selling album to date after being drug through the media while recovering from the domestic abuse she suffered, also very publicly? Stick around for a few more minutes and I’ll share a few tips on how I and the greats I admire continuously practice emotional resilience in the face of adversity. Please refrain from calling all your girls and holding a 4 wk-long pity party at the twitter headquarters featuring your super bad twitter fingers.
The comeback is always stronger than the setback.
1. Learn to develop the skill of moving on & quickly.
A mentor of mine once shared with me the story of how she essentially lost a few thousand investing in a dishonest publisher. Now when I say a few thousand, I really mean something to the tune of $13,000. Now, any sane person would be livid in this situation and rightfully so, but in business time really is money. Instead of losing valuable time complaining dwelling on the setback she simply analyzed the situation to see where she went wrong and how to avoid the mishap next time around. Once you’ve assessed the situation the only thing left for you to do is to correct the part that you do have control over and quickly. You can choose to wallow in your bitterness until you feel like doing something about it but you have a business to run.
2. You have to be your own biggest fan.
Self-awareness is key here. Have you ever met someone that’s ridiculously talented but insists on keeping their craft to themselves? I know a bunch and I can’t say that they are at fault for wanting to keep their pride & joy to themselves. People are mean. It’s not a secret. However, when you decided to enter the arena of business owners you agreed to the fine print as well. There was a term on the last page that you had to initial that read Everyone isn’t going to like you and what you do. To be successful in business you can’t be moved by the compliments, the criticism and the lack thereof. You have to know what you are doing, why you’re doing it and be open to being receptive to the feedback that comes from the audience that you’re here to serve.
To avoid criticism do nothing and be nothing
3. Leave your business out of it.
As a leader, you are being looked at to exemplify strength in the midst of chaos, you are expected to pull solutions out of thin air when everyone else has given up. As a boss/employer you are responsible for possibly ensuring vendors get paid on time, making important decisions in high-pressure environments etc. and none of this can get done if you’re distracted by emotion.
Depending on the line of work that you’re in, it’s best to leave your heart out of your business. This would allow you to pay more attention to what matters. Simply put, shit happens. Shit can happen on a Monday, on a Friday, across seas with your supplier or in your own backyard. You can’t avoid that part but you can choose to remove the veil that emotion uses to cloud your vision and operate from a place of clarity. There is no room for the emotional roller coaster when you have strategies to formulate, plan and execute.
The good thing is, emotional resilience is a learned skill. The more you seak out the opportunities that scare you, enter rooms where no one looks like you, and celebrate how far you’ve come, the better you become at flexing your resilience. I’m rooting for you!